Thanksgiving is here, which means more than a few of us—hell, a record number of us—will be traveling to feast with family and friends. Whether you want to make the journey a little smoother or just block out the sound of your racist uncle after dinner, we’re here with a list of seven Slate podcasts to binge-listen to over the holiday.
Music and podcasts are essential ingredients for a great road trip, and Hit Parade brings the two together. In each episode, host Chris Molanphy, a pop-chart analyst and music journalist, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through in-depth narrative storytelling, song snippets, and trivia, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts, and shaped your memories forever.
Standoff: What Happened at Ruby Ridge?
In 1992, hundreds of armed federal agents surrounded a family of white separatists in a ramshackle mountaintop cabin. Eleven days later, three people were dead—and the story of Ruby Ridge was just beginning.
Standoff is the perfect show to distract you from bumper-to-bumper holiday traffic. In each episode, host Ruth Graham explores the tragedy, which has become a foundational myth for the modern right, and finds some frightening lessons about power and paranoia. Since this narrative podcast is a miniseries, you can catch up on the first episodes before the series wraps later this month.
Decoder Ring is a narrative storytelling podcast about cracking cultural mysteries. Host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit, examines its history, and tries to figure out what it means and why it matters.
The show has covered everything from the rise and fall of the laugh track in TV sitcoms, to the reasons why we’re all terrified of clowns (come on, admit it), to an interdimensional conspiracy theory cooked up by the internet.
For many, politics and family don’t mix. But it doesn’t hurt to come prepared for that dinnertime debate, and you can prep yourself with Trumpcast, the show about the man we’re all dealing with.
Each episode analyzes the president, the current administration, and the many scandals. The show features conversations with journalists, historians, and other experts who are trying to explain who this man is and why this is happening, right now, in the United States of America.
Mom and Dad Are Fighting
Difficult exes, overbearing grandparents, stepchildren without boundaries, toddlers who just can’t get a grip—they can all become key players over the holidays. Mom and Dad Are Fighting, the podcast about parenting and family, understands.
In each episode, hosts Gabriel Roth, Carvell Wallace, and Rebecca Lavoie share their own parenting triumphs and fails, offer answers to listener questions, and provide recommendations. Recent episodes explore what to do when your kid finds your weed stash, how to manage sleepovers with a child with night terrors, and the ethics of breaking into a teenager’s phone. Whether or not you have children, this podcast provides refreshing, funny, and insightful advice to anyone who has ever been part of a family.
The Secret History of the Future
Change your perception of the past, and you’ll discover the secret history of the future. From the world’s first cyberattack in 1834 to 19th-century virtual reality, the Economist’s Tom Standage and Slate’s Seth Stevenson examine the ancient ingenuity that our modern digital technology can learn from—and expose age-old weaknesses that we are already on a course to repeat. The first season of The Secret History of the Future just ended, so all episodes are available to binge while you’re stuck in that airport layover.
Dear Prudence Podcast
Nothing better to distract a person more from her own family problems than another family’s problems.
In each episode of the Dear Prudence Podcast, you’ll hear advice, commentary, and conversations about relationships, sex, work, family, and life from Daniel Mallory Ortberg, author of Slate’s Dear Prudence column. Kick back after some turkey and stuffing and hear about gossipy sisters-in-law, family inheritances, difficult bosses, and breaking up with friends.